New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon spoke about the firing of manager Willie Randolph and MLB headquarters in Manhattan while attending the Welcome Back Veterans press conference.
He spoke briefly to ESPN Radio after Randolph was fired only to say that it was Omar Minaya’s decision. It’s left a lot of people, including me, wondering why he wouldn’t talk about the situation publicly.
Ken Davidoff of Newsday reports the following from Wilpon:
Wilpon said that Minaya alerted him on Sunday, June 15 that he intended to fire Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson and first-base coach Tom Nieto, but Minaya wanted to sleep on it. That night, Randolph and his two coaches took the team’s flight to Anaheim.
Asked whether he regretted sending Randolph out West for just one game, Wilpon said, "You can always look over your shoulder and think things like that, but the intent here clearly was to respect Willie. To do it in person. It’s never easy to fire anybody. Omar took a lot of time. We took a lot of time listening to him and thinking about it. He wanted to respect Willie, and that’s what he did."
It looks like he and Minaya are on the same page here, which is good to read. But Wilpon really should have come out earlier to talk about this issue. This turned into such a media circus and the Mets organization was getting killed by every media outlet in the country over their handling of Willie’s firing.
For an owner that has a reputation for being very image conscious about the franchise, it’s suspicious that Wilpon didn’t speak earlier. It almost makes me think that he had to get his story straight before talking publicly about this.